Diving into the world of Blackjack as a beginner can be somewhat daunting. As you watch the professionals hunker down to play Blackjack every hour, on the hour, somewhere like the Vegas strip, we’re sure you feel as though you can’t ask too many questions. Well, not to worry, as we’re about to take you on a whistle-stop tour of all things Blackjack, and hopefully give you a helpful insight into the basics of the game!
If you ask the experts, like long-time gambling aficionado John Marchell, you’ll soon find that one of the most important steps to becoming a seasoned Blackjack player is learning when the correct time is to hit, stand, or split down on certain hands. Marchell advises the following:
- Choose to stand when your hand equals anywhere between 12-16 and the dealer holds 2-6
- Hit when your hand equals 12-16, but the dealer has a 7-Ace
- You should always split your Aces and 8s, when they appear within your hand
- Double on 11s when the dealer holds between 2-10
- Hit or double a hand that contains Aces-6
The Importance of the Dealer’s Up-Card
Before you make any decisions about your own hand, you should first take a look at the dealer’s up-card – which is the card that they have facing up, so all players can see it. What this card shows will make all the difference to what your next move will be, as your main goal should always be to beat the dealer, even if you don’t end up hitting 21! If the dealer goes bust, then victory will be yours!
The excitement of pulling up a chair at a professional Blackjack table, with the hustle and bustle of the casino roaring behind you, is certainly unmatched. However, it’s important to remember that, if you want to remain in control, you should start small, and assess the way that the game goes. Some people refer to this as the dealer being “hot” or “cold” but, either way, you should always make sure that you feel confident in what you’re about to lay down, and that you’re not betting above your means.
Stay Rooted in Reality
Much like any form of gambling, there are numerous myths and legends that surround Blackjack, which attempt to dictate how you should or shouldn’t play your hand. These myths are essentially just rumours, rooted in very little truth, with nothing to back up what they’re saying! However, that doesn’t stop people believing them as they embark on their game of chance. Some of the main theories that surround Blackjack are:
- “Try to imitate the dealer’s moves”
A lot of first-time players think that because the dealer is likely more experienced, as well as possessing the house edge, that the best thing to do is to try and mirror the way they play through the game. When players try to follow this approach, they don’t take into account that the dealer will always have a slight advantage, as they usually go second – this means that if the player goes bust, then the dealer will automatically win. Of course, this works vice versa, but as a strategy, it holds very little chance of leading you to a win!
- “Always assume that the dealer’s facedown card is valued at a ten”
This is simply another old wives’ tale to add to the collection. But, let’s debunk it: There are only four cards with a value of ten in a standard 52 card deck, which means that a ten is only actually likely to be dealt with every 3.25 cards in a game. Because of this, you can see how it’s rather unlikely that the dealer will have a ten as their “secret” card.
Now, with all that knowledge filling your head, there should be nothing stopping you from making your Blackjack debut, and, ultimately, beating the dealer!